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PPL buys E.On's UK power networks

US energy company PPL has announced it is buying E.On’s UK power networks in a deal worth nearly £4 billion.

The Allentown, Pennsylvania-based company is buying the Central Networks electrical networks distribution business of E.On.

PPL will pay £3.45bn in cash and assume £494m in existing debt. PPL and E.On expect to close the deal early next month.

E.On’s Central Networks serves five million customers in the Midlands, including Birmingham and Nottingham, through about 83,000 miles of lines.

“This transaction significantly improves PPL’s business mix and our business-risk profile,” said James Miller, PPL’s chairman, president and chief executive.

PPL already owns Western Power Distribution, which provides regulated distribution through 52,000 miles of lines to 2.6 million customers in south-west England and south Wales.

With Central Networks, PPL will own and operate what it says will be the largest network of electricity delivery companies in the UK in terms of regulated asset value, a combined £4.9 billion.

“Opportunities as compelling as this do not come along very often,” Mr Miller said.